Monday, November 25, 2013

Boeing! DOW Breaks 16,000!

I am amused by the pundits and politicians who rant about the Socialists in government. Mainly because we have an honest-to-ghod self-identified Socialist in government out here, and it looks nothing like the pro-business, too-big-fail, corporate welfare, Wall Street-fluffing breed they seem to have in our capitals, state and national. If those guys are Socialists, then they are doing something very, very wrong.

In any event, one small marker of economy, the cheerleading section from the Dow Jones, continues to surge ahead as the rest of us seem to be picking ourselves off the mat. So that's good, from what I've been told. 

Seattle is doing very well, by the way, as measured by my personal rule-of-thumb measure - how bad traffic is. And by that single-point reference (which is, when you look at it, what the DOW is as well) business is good because traffic is bad. More people are now clogging the concrete arteries on their way to jobs. You'd think that we'd put a bit more money into public transportation, but you would be figuring against how these Supposed Socialists in power really think.

Giving money to public transportation, or public anything, of course, smacks of Socialism, and as such has been studiously avoided in Olympia this past year. Giving money to a massively successful corporation on the chance that they will stay in town, well, that's worth a special session of the state legislature. Said special session doled out the largest single largest package of bennies ever to keep the semi-hometown team of Boeing producing its new 777x here in the Puget Sound region, as opposed to shipping off the work to other, non-unionized locations.

And when I say single largest package, we're talking about 8.7 Billion with a B. And that is on top of all the other bennies we roll out as we see Boeing continually eye other dance-partners. Oh, despite the fact the aeronautical giant is reducing staff here in the Puget Sound region ANYWAY. And the fact that we've done this dance before and seen plane production go elsewhere anyway.

But Boeing puts out the collections basket and folk line up. The state legislature. The guv. The union at the national/international brotherhood level, who caved to its demand of frozen pensions, no raises, and no guarantees, and recommended the local workers do the same.

And the local union looked at what they were asked to pony up for the promise of the 777x, declared it spinach, and said to hell with it.

And yeah, it was a pretty rotten deal. So rotten that even the pro-business, anti-union Times had to recognize the stench. Of course, now that the machinists have nixed the deal, management gets to cry crocodile tears as it ships stuff to other, poorer, less-uniony parts of the country.

And the Seattle Times now gets to condemn both the unions for costing all this growth, and the politicians for larding out all this pork in the first place. They get to play both sides against the middle. For a more rational view, you have to go the NYTimes to find it. And wow, I don't often say something like THAT too often.

I get the idea that Boeing hates its workers. It is pretty obvious. It moved its HQ to Chicago to get away from them. It tried to farm out its 787 production (labeled by one wit here as the "Dreamsmoker") to a huge number of smaller, cheaper operations. And then had to come back to its Seattle wonks to fix things when these third-party guys confused batteries with hibachis. And despite the fact the Puget Sound continues to produce the lions' share of planes, despite attempts to farm them out elsewhere.

My opinion? I support the local unions on this for doing the right thing. Yes, it may reduce the number of jobs (or reduce the angle of the slide as Boeing tries to weasel away from Washington anyway). But my commute sucks enough already - adding more people to the job pool is probably a bad thing. Plus the fact that new airplane interiors are apparently made for Playskool Little People, so its not like I going to be riding comfortably in these new, lowest bidder airliners.

Want me to change my tune, legislature? Sure. Fund public transportation and get a decent roads package through your spending-adverse minds. The cries for austerity are loud right up to the point where a large corporation is involved. Then the gates are thrown wide on the shadow of a promise that a company seeking to save every nickel will not try to welsh on the deal. And if you MUST insist on giving money to aerospace giants, let's invite Airbus over to visit every so often.

And for Boeing Execs? Here's the secret to breaking the unions - pay your people in Texas and South Carolina better. No, seriously. Ten years of competitive wages in those areas will raise the tech levels of the work force and make the unions here looks like some ancient dinosaurs. Unions come into being because the management does not deal square with its employees. It is hard to argue about freezing worker pensions when your CEO's own pension went up by $20 Million last year. Practice a little of that corporate wisdom, and you will, long-term, win.

Otherwise, you're looking at coming back to Seattle workforce when your "lowest possible bidder" triple-seven starts getting cranky.

More later,

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Also Fifty Years Ago

More later,

[The Update: Writing this after seeing the 50th anniversary show and, while it had more loose ends and plot holes than an half-knitted sweater, it was truly a glorious, wonderful thing, the pacing and comparisons between the personal and macro plots weaving together, advancing the character entirely, and both providing a resolution and setting things up for the future. So I'd like to take that egotistic moment and talk about the various incarnations of the Doctor from a personal level. There are none I would truly hate, but a couple places where the entire operation has gone astray. In general, they are a pretty good group.
   One, William Hartnell, was the archetype, and cannot be viewed save by through the black and white glasses of the past. I only saw a handful of his shows, and he plants the flag as the acerbic old professor, the type that every other Doctor plays against to some degree.
   Two, Patrick Troughton, is a bit of a mystery to me, after all these years. I've only seen him in one or two versions (usually the one involving Cybermen), and in his team-ups with later Doctors. More comforting than patriarchal, he has always been one of the "funny" Doctors.
   Three, John Pertwee, was such a creature of his era. The action hero Doctor, working for UNIT, confined to earth, and filled with all the things that made Britain so very British for me. This Doctor, the Avengers, and Monty Python explained what life was like in modern England. With Sarah Jane. And with Autons.
   Four. Ah. You always remember the first Doctor you encounter, and in college, for me, it was Tom Baker, with a long stretch of episodes that we got out of the Chicago public TV station (and yet, whenever I happen to catch one these days, it is always "Giant Robot"). The Bohemian Doctor, with a slew of suitable and increasingly interesting companions - Sarah, K9, Leela, the two Romanas. Yeah, it went silly more often in the later span with Doug Adams, but still, this is the real Doctor to a lot of us.
   Five. Peter Davidson, who was young and vulnerable and we had seen previously in the states as the feckless vet in All Creatures Great and Small. Often bewildered. In one of those wanderings astray, he had a pack of companions at once. Never understood the Adric hate, but I never cared much for Turlough for being the world's oldest schoolboy as well as the continual pawn of evil.
   Six. The Colin Baker Doctor was not a fave at the time, but I am more willing to give this part of the series credit for attempting to be different. A dislikeable Doctor, darker stories, higher body counts, an American companion, more moralizing (often heavy-handed), non-linear storytelling. Yeah, the low point for that era was the Trial of the Time Lord, but C.Baker himself I could not really dislike.
   Seven, with Sylvester McCoy, was a tonic in comparison. Patrick Troughton for the new generation - more elfish and amused with himself. A very comfortable Doctor, and Ace made the best of the later-day companions.
   I fear I never gave Eight, Paul McGann, much of a shot, I'm afraid. An Americanized movie from Fox felt like cultural imperialism, and the shoddy way McCoy was regenerated just left me upset. Yet McGann kept the fires burning on audio and in other media during the dark years without new TV Shows, and I was glad to see that he got a proper sendoff in this clip.
   John Hurt, who is ... The War Doctor? Eight-point-five? The Missing Doctor? Probably he will be the New Nine and everyone else just shifts back one, fits neatly into the cosmology. He fills a required whole admirably, and in the 50th is just spot-on. He pulls off the miracle of walking into everything and making everyone believe he had always been there.
   Chris Eccleston, the Old-Nine-Now-Ten was a perfectly suitable reintroduction to the line. Closer to the Pertwee action hero end of the spectrum, the reboot gave him a dark past without overwhelming him
   David Tennant, Ten-now-Eleven is my personal fave among the new group. Bright and exciting, he was bolstered by good companions with Rose, Martha, and Donna. The stories got a bit much in magical timey-whimey pull-the-solution-out-of-the hat, love-will-find-a-way but he evoked a lot of T.Baker for me. And I liked the glasses. In fact, I think that's one reason I liked the anniversary show so much was his presence.
   Matt Smith rounds out the proper Dozen (nothing to say about Peter Capaldi's Doctor, as we haven't seen much), now that we close in on the end of his tenure, was an OK Doctor for me. His Doctor roiled through manic and clever and confused, and falls in the Peter Davidson era, particularly when he threatens to get overwhelmed by his own companions. River Song comes into her own here, along with the Ponds and now Clara, who stood in very well for the entire line of companions in the 50th.

So, yeah, the 50th Anniversary show is worth catching, even if you've drifted off in the past couple years. It does a good job sealing up a nice little chunk of Whovian History, and continues the team-up tradition of inter-Doctoral bickering. And four of the actors who played Doctor Who were involved in a very amusing, backstage, inside-production comedy right here, and you should check it out. Yeah, a lot of the jokes depend on you knowing about the actors involved, but the sight of Colin Baker standing on his riding lawnmower to get better cellphone reception is just worth it right there, Yeah, go check it out.]

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fifty Years Ago

Dallas Times Herald Collection/The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

More later,

[Update: Someone asked: Why this picture? Part of it is because it was new to me - the PI was running the events of that day as a real time Twitter feed and this shot was taken shortly before the motorcade entered Dealey Plaza (I tracked down a better copy later, credited correctly). Part of it was because it seems so innocuous, so unsuspecting. And part of it because it sets the scene, and JFK does not dominate it.

Looking at the downtown Dallas of that day, the thing that most modern Americans would notice is that it is a security nightmare. Open windows, low buildings, fire escapes down the front of buildings, a large (but not huge) crowd of well-wishers. You see the security guys on the running board of the police car and on the back bumper of the limo alert, scanning the crowds.

The other thing I notice was about the car. It is what in those days would be considered a stretch limo in that it had three sets of seats. And that back set of seats, where the President and First Lady were sitting, were higher than the seats in front of them, to let the crowd get a better view. Look at the molding on the side - it rises after Mrs. Connally, and still Jackie is more exposed, higher up.

I mention this because the "smoking gun" of conspiracy theory is the so-called "magic-bullet". The bullet from Oswald's gun passed through the president, and into John Connolly, but the trajectory doesn't line up. This, of course, indicates there were other shooters, or multiple shooters, or the Comedian was on the Grassy Knoll. Unless of course, the President was sitting on a raised seat, which he was. Of course, the "magic-bullet" has worked its way into conspiratorial history, so this will rattle no true believers, but the evidence is there.]

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Late Anniversary

So without much fanfare or notice, we passed the ten-year mark here at Grubb Street, which was longer than a lot of my employment at most places over the years.  The first post was a modest one:
This is a test. This is only a test. In the event of real content, enlightenment would be provided. 
And real (well, mostly real) content followed. The next post was about the history of the original Grub Street. The next entry I learn how to do headers. By the end of the first month, I'd done a restaurant review (Canlis), a book-on-tape-review, made fun of a local politico, and called someone a pinhead. After that I was off to the races.

Over ten years. According to the sidebar, over 2000 posts. Mostly the same backdrop and organization as we started with. Most of the same spelling and grammar errors. It has slowed a bit, and part of that is because one-shot comments or pictures now go out to Facebook or Google+. But for long-form tomfoolery I keep coming back to blogging.

This is not, and was never intended to be, a successful blog. Blogs that survive by bringing traffic back again and again do so by selecting an audience and a theme and sticking with it. If you want to talk about broccoli, every post is about broccoli, and your audience comes to your blog because of your broccoli knowledge, and both you and your audience self-select. Similarly, if you hatge asparagus, and your blog is filled with every asparagus recall and health warning about asparagus and crackpot theories about how asparagus was responsible for the Fall of Rome and again, you end up with an audience of asparagus haters. ("Yeah, I hit all the red lights on the way to work today. Thanks, Asparagus")

But I find that boring. It is tough enough for me to get through a full political season, or a theater season, or talk about collectible quarters on a yearly posting without freestyle medication. But I will confess that I am sympathetic to those who follow this blog in the faint, faint chance that I will get back to talking about games. And we will. Sometime.

By the same token, this is hardly a personal therapy blog where every problem is suddenly blog-cast out to the rest of the world. I don't write anything I don't want my Mom to bring up when I call home. But I do like the sense of variety. If this blog is selling anything (other than my most recent book or game - say, did I mention that Scourge is a really good Star Wars novel?), it is selling my public persona - amused and amusing (I hope). Thoughtful and on occasion thought-provoking. Not scary. Creative, capable, and available for the creative odd job.

Anyway, with the non-anniversary, I finally went back to the Google Dashboard and starting looking at feedback. I don't take comments on this blog (I do take email, but since that denies the public posturing of comments, I don't get a lot of them), but I can scan the number of hits particular entries have received. Here's what the top scorers since 2007 (which is when the feature apparently came on line) are:

An article about Spelljammer.
An article about Christmas Layoffs at WotC.
A political article about the recent Advisory Votes. Seriously, what's the deal here? Was I the only guy in King County writing about this?
An article about how D&D always competed with itself.
An article about the original Marvel Super Heroes game.
An article about the Forgotten Realms comic books.
One of my "DOW Breaks" articles, which became a regular feature where I pretend I know anything about economics.
And article about Lovecraft, and the difficulty of loving the writing and hating the writer.
A review of Playing At The World.
A link-filled summary of the first year's anniversary of Guild Wars 2.

So, were I smart guy, I would obviously fill my blog with stuff about the "Good Old Days" and not deal with anything else. But I don't, because this blog is for me, which means that sometimes I will talk about interesting stuff, and sometimes I will talk about interesting stuff FOR ME. And I'm pretty happy with it, and you know, the Internet is a big place, so you asparagus-haters can go off an find some other blog to follow.

And oh yeah, I'll get back to talking about gaming any time now. Really.

More later,

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What Other People Are Doing

Just some quick updates on friends:

Troy Denning and Ed Greenwood will be joining Erin Evans up at the Northgate Mall Barnes & Noble tomorrow (Thursday) at 7 PM, to discuss the new Forgotten Realms series, The Sundering.

Tim Brown is closing in on the close of his Dragon Kings Kickstarter, with less than a day left. It has made its funding, but check it out!

Bruce Cordell has also made funding for his new RPG, The Strange, but it is worth checking out as well.

And lastly, our local Tolkien expert John Rateliff has had his magnum opus, The History of the Hobbit, appear in the bonus features of the new release of The Hobbit movie. Cool beans, indeed!

More later,

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Meanwhile, Last Night

Left to Right: Becky, Jennell, Stan!, Lorelei, Rob, John, Me, Will, Dave, Scott. Picture by Bruce Cordell.
This photo is from a gathering of my writer's group, the Alliterates, at our habitual watering hole. Bruce Cordell took the photo (he would have been sitting between me and Stan! (who's back is to the camera). Steve Winter, who is also a member, was off camera to the right, but this was the group for the evening. I've put it up on other social networks, but I just want to talk about the composition.

But what I like about this photo is how evocative and well-lit the scene is, making it look almost like an oil painting. We have already talked about the comparison with the Last Supper. The center of the picture, over Rob, John, and Lorelei, is the best-lit and the center of the work. Bruce took this at a moment when we talking in one relatively big group (due to the size, throughout the evening, we had three or four conversations going at the same time). The figures are naturally posed because most of us didn't realize Bruce was taking a photo (except maybe Lorelei, with her arms folded). I don't remember what we were talking about, though I always use my my hands when making a point, and the sight-line was between me and Jennell. The background is well-lit, but other-worldly, its color palate separated from the muted hues inside the bar.

It is rare when a random photo creates this sense of story and a uniformity of feel. It looks like Lorelei, Rob, and John are sitting in judgement as Jennell and I make some arcane points. It was a passing moment, but captured. No one is caught off-guard or looking dorky as a result. It is one of those chance things that just works.

And that's pretty cool. More later,

Friday, November 08, 2013

The Political Desk - Wrapping Things Up

After giving a couple days to settle, most of the results are pretty set. Late returns can flip the results, with the smaller elections having the most likely chance of suddenly changing sides. 

I-517 - The Inititative Protection Initiative - NO
I-522 - The GMO Labling Initiative - NO (apropos of nothing, the Farmer's Assurance Provision, also known as the "Monsanto Protection Act", which protects seed companies from litigation from their completely safe, currently unlabeled product, was just extended for three months. (um, yaaaaaay)).

Advisory Votes 3-7 - 3-4, 7 Maintained, 5-6 Repealed, not that it matters anyway.
King Count Charter Amendment No 1 - Yes
King County Proposition No 1, Medic One - Approved

King County Executive - Dow Constantine
Metropolitan King County Council District No. 5 - Dave Upthegrove

Port of Seattle Position No. 1 - John Creighton
Port of Seattle Position No. 2 - Courtney Gregroire
Port of Seattle Position No. 3 - Stephanie Bowman
Port of Seattle Position No. 4 - Tom Albro

City of Kent, Mayor - Suzette Cooke
City of Kent, Council Position No. 2 - Jim Berrios
City of Kent, Council Position No. 6 - Ken Sharp (Maybe. This one is still hanging fire, with only a couple hundred votes between the candidates, but has been fairly stable. Should Mr. Sharp win, the voters will have to sit through his upcoming criminal trial. Um, yaaaaaay).
Kent School District No. 415, Director District No. 5 - Maya Vengadasalam

Soos Creek Water and Sewer District Position No. 2 - Larry West
Soos Creek Water and Sewer District Position No. 3 - Gary G Cline
Public Hospital District No. 1, Commissioner No. 3 - Barbara J. Drennan
Public Hospital District No. 1, Commissioner No. 5 - Tamara Sleeter

And in the bonus round, The City of Seattle went with the progressive machine candidate as opposed to the progressive independent, and King County re-elected the relatively inert Republican for county commissioner. 

More later,

Monday, November 04, 2013

Play: Banana Fanana Fo-Fita

Bo-Nita by Elizabeth Heffron, Directed by Paul Budraitis,  Seattle Rep through November 17

Let me be clear about this: I strongly support the presentation of original theater in this town. I'd much rather watch a new original production by a locally-working playwright, refined in-house, than the touring company of some road-tested, marketing secure presentation. And that WILL take you into risky waters, both for subject matter and presentation, and most of all into the deadly territory of the one-person play.

Ah, the one-person play. A single actor before you. It saves on cast and such complications like wardrobe or blocking, but for every K of D or Humor Abuse, you run the risk of a Thom Paine, a play that continues to rankle in my subconscious, much like "anything with puppets" rankles with the Lovely Bride.

And is Bo-Nita a K of D? No, but it is still pretty interesting.

Here's the short form: The entire play is a narration from Bo-Nita, 13, who is waiting for her mom after school. Bo-Nita is a bundle of anger and rationality and hormones, a precocious, self-aware, self-raised woman-child made old before her time, operating in the zone of that just-getting-by America with a scam-planning mom, a succession of her boyfriends, and a stoner grandma.  And she is telling a story about the time she had to deal with the apparently dead body of her stepfather, which grows weirder and stranger with each looping scheme and flashback.

And I'm watching this all, and something tickles the back of my mind. Unreliable narrator, under-aged protagonist, predatory stepfather, heart attic. Mature, as they say, themes. Am I watching a presentation of Vladamir Nabokov's Lolita?

And I check on the Wiki after I get back home. [Note 1 - I have not read Lolita; a knowledgeable friend pointed me to the superior Pale Fire at the time. And Note 2 - Since I am not a libertarian Republican Senator, I can't quote Wikipedia directly as my own work] And yeah, that's a good summary. Heck, even the protagonist/play's name is a head-nod, fed through "The Banana Song". But it uses the bones of the Nabokov piece and dresses it up in a belly-dancing outfit, and ends up rich in both humor and pathos. It takes it in a different direction.

And Hannah Mootz, as our singular unreliable protagonist, plays 13 very well, aware of her world and still naive at the same time. She has to negotiate around some concepts with language that may be a little old for her, but acquits herself wonderfully.

There was a bit of technical sabotage in the sound system for our performance. In order to get across the idea of the setting, there is a radio playing in the background. The problem was that the radio noise was running too loud, and creating not the feeling of a shared space in which Bo-Nita is talking, but rather that someone left a radio on while setting up the other theater. Worse, when Bo-Nita went into flashbacks, the radio noise continued, which left me wondering if it was an error. I was not alone - one of the other patrons was asking around during the play about it, which set the performance back further.

That aside, how was it? Pretty good. Not at the top of one-person performances but hardly bad. It does need some more time to get the tech and language down (I was doing mental calculations about when the mom and grandmom would be born to get Bo-Nita to 13 in 2013, which is usually a troubling sign of engagement). But good marks for something original within the confines of the Rep.

More later,

Sunday, November 03, 2013

The Political Desk - Bits and Pieces

You'd think I'd be relieved to be done with all this political stuff, but in the process of writing these up, I came up with some stuff that didn't fit anywhere else.

The Secretary of Rock
1) According to my reports on blog traffic, the page with the MOST hits is about the Advisory Votes. Had I only known, I probably would have come up with a less-snarky title. Probably the surge in interest is because most of the other issues which are BETTER known have a lot more people commenting on them, and the stuff that is LESS well known affects fewer people. I'd like to point people interested in further information on the Advisor Votes to both the Washington Secretary of State's Blog for this entry on the matter, which is informative and only a little snarky, as well as this entry from Publico, which is informative and a LOT snarky.  (As an added bonus, the Secretary of State's Blog has pictures of her going as a rocker for Halloween. Yeah, I think she'll work out OK.)

2) On the GMO Initiative. Like most of you out here I have been pelted by fliers and ads saying how this is a bad, bad initiative and is confusing and terrible and scare-mongering and all sorts of things. Then I hit this response from the outspent pro-I-522 campaign:

Really? Consumer Union? The guys who put out Consumer Reports? An operation that makes it its JOB to point out confusing language, bad product, and poorly-written scams? They are saying that the language is OK? Huh. So if you need another reason, vote YES on I-522.

3) On stuff I can't vote for, let me dwell upon the Seattle Mayor's race. Like in Kent, the policy differences between the two candidates are very slight. Actually, you couldn't pass a city council resolution between the two of them. So the campaign is all about who is more likable. And Mr. McGinn is a bristly as his beard, and has cheesed off a lot of powers-that-be in his term. He didn't come up through the party machinery. He has supported another stadium down by the Port. He has opposed the tunnel, which, to date, has carved out less yardage that Marshawn Lynch on a good day.  Mr. Murray has strongly benefited by being the "Not-McGinn", and this is solid thing - all the polls are putting him ahead.

And that's cool, but I have been watching our paper of record, the Seattle Times, going in big for Mr. Murray. Not as deeply as they did for Rob McKenna last time out, but still they have used their newspaperly mojo to nice effect. It is not in the reporting- that's usually pretty good. But stuff that may reflect badly on Mr. Murray tends to get shifted to the middle of section B (Thursday morning there was a bit about how the Chamber of Commerce Pro-Murray PAC has been caught in an election violation), or gets very "soft" headlines (an article on an ad stating that McGinnn is misrepresented on his Domestic Violence record has a headline that doesn't really note that said ad comes from another pro-Murray operation). A small bit about Murray's unpaid parking tickets showed up in the on-line version, and only made print when other news groups picked it up. And this past Friday, a piece on how much is being spent on the mayor kinda softpedals the fact that Murray's campaign is outspending McGinns to the tune of $700k ro $450k.

Oh, and we have to go to the Washington Post (In the "Other Washington") to break the story that one of the big contributors to Mr. Murray's campaign is Comcast, who feels it will benefit better from a mayor who is part of the normal political process and not so independent. And that's not even getting into the relaxed attitude towards someone under Mr. Murray's supervision embezzling a bunch of cash and as a result perhaps costing the Dems a close race in the legislature.

Were all this stuff happening to the incumbent, and the papers would have a field day. In the Times, not so much. So yeah, even though I'm not voting in this (not part of Seattle proper, yaknow), I'd go with MIKE MCGINN for Mayor. As elsewhere, I'm just trying to spare us the later headlines.

4) And speaking of the Seattle Times slant, last time out for County Council, there was a leaning-conservative newsperson  (Susan Hutchison, now head of the state GOP) running for King County Executive, and the paper made of lot about how the position was non-partisan, so even TALKING about candidate's party allegiance was just not proper. This time out, a Dem (Shari Song) has a chance to uproot a relatively inert Republican (Reagan Dunn), and the paper is deeply deeply afraid that this will pitch the County Council into the hands of (gasp) DEMOCRATS!

Yeah, whatever. Go for SHARI SONG for those of you in District 9. With district representation, you really should have a councilperson who shows up.

And finally, this blog will not be reporting on the election results until Thursday or Friday. This is because the deadline for turning your ballot in (getting it post-marked) is Tuesday, so while they do release some results on election day, the bulk show up later (and the Times whines about how this is a bad thing). Sometimes the early votes will go one way, the later votes another. So stay tuned, and if you are a Washington Voter, it is not too late. Go vote.

More later,

Friday, November 01, 2013

The Political Desk: The Jeff Recommends

Very well. For the past two weeks I have mercilessly slogging through the ballot up here on Grubb Street, and have discovered a number of interesting things in the process, like the dimension of the Soos Creek Water District and the nature of those opaque Advisory Votes. Oddly, the Advisory Votes section has gotten the most number of hits so far, so other people are looking as well.

Below are the summarized recommendations from this blog, put together in one place for your convenience, right before the last weekend before the voting closes. It has been noted that the early returns this year, which may indicate either a) fewer people are voting in an election that doesn't have national repercussions, and/or b) people are still trying to make up their minds.

This is not the only place to find recommendations. The Muni League rates most of the candidates north of but not including Kent. The Voters' Guide will assure you which candidates are not axe-murderers, but, alas, not which ones have been arrested for stealing from their own mothers. Those with more of liberal bend can find the Progressive endorsements here, while those with more conservative in the political DNA can weep with the Seattle Times, whose editorial board tends to weigh all options equally before choosing the one that is most pro-business and anti-union. Those who want snark and bong humor with their insights are directed to the Stranger.

If you are interested in my logic, you can find the earlier posts here. Here's what we have:

I-517 - The Inititative Protection Initiative - Vote NO
I-522 - The GMO Labling Initiative - Vote YES

Advisory Votes 3-7 - Vote Maintained
King Count Charter Amendment No 1 - Vote Yeah. Not an enthusiastic Yeah, but Yeah.
King County Proposition No 1 , Medic One - Vote Approved

King County Executive - Dow Constantine
Metropolitan King County Council District No. 5 - Dave Upthegrove.

Port of Seattle Position No. 1 - John Creighton
Port of Seattle Position No. 2 - Courtney Gregroire
Port of Seattle Position No. 3 - Michael Wolfe
Port of Seattle Position No. 4 - Tom Albro

City of Kent, Mayor - Suzette Cooke
City of Kent, Council Position No. 2 - David Wade Schwartz
City of Kent, Council Position No. 6 - Bailey Stober
Kent School District No. 415, Director District No. 5 - Maya Vengadasalam

Soos Creek Water and Sewer District Position No. 2 - Darold R. Stroud
Soos Creek Water and Sewer District Position No. 3 - Gary G Cline
Public Hospital District No. 1, Commissioner No. 3 - Barbara J Drennan
Public Hospital District No. 1, Commissioner No. 5 - Sue Bowman

And that's it for Grubb Street. Of course, I DO have opinions on stuff I CAN'T Vote for, and a lot of bits and pieces, but that is More Later kinda thing.